J.T. Brown’s Risky Gamble Pays Off at the Farmers Insurance Open

J.T. Brown took a gamble this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it looks like it's already paid off. After two competitive rounds at the Korn Ferry Tour event in the Bahamas, Brown decided to withdraw and make the journey across the country to Torrey Pines.

“I kind of had a goal in mind if I was in the top 10 down there, I was going to stay,” Brown said. “And once I didn't play that great on Monday, I decided to come on here.”

When John Huh pulled out of the Farmers at 5 p.m. on Monday, Brown, who had been the first alternate, was granted entry.[0] [0] Huh withdrew from this week's tournament without citing a reason, although he had withdrawn from the American Express last week citing an elbow injury.[0]

This week is an unusual one, as the Korn Ferry Tour event began on Sunday and is set to end on Wednesday, while the PGA Tour commenced on Wednesday and will be finishing on Saturday. Adding to his travel dilemma.[0] Brown, with only two starts in the PGA Tour during the fall, shot a score of 1-under 143 in two rounds in the Bahamas. He made the cut by a margin of two strokes and was T-34 when he decided to withdraw.[0]

It was an easy choice for Brown to abandon the Bahamas and journey to the West Coast: the prize money at the Bahamas this week is only $1 million with the champion taking home $180,000, whereas at Torrey Pines, there is a total of $8.7 million available with the victor receiving $1.556 million.[0]

Brown is staying with Scott Stallings and had some intel on the courses.[0] He also received support from friends and family who encouraged him to make the risky move.

“I looked at the positive side of it,” Brown said.[1] “I kind of knew through some buddies what the conditions were like, kind of know where they’re going to put the pins.”[1]

Brown's gamble has already paid off, as he shot a 1-over 73 in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open. He will have to wait until Saturday to find out if his trip was worth it, but it's clear that he is already a winner.

0. “A busy 24 hours for Scott Brown included making the cut at a Korn Ferry event, withdrawing and flying to California for Farmers Insurance Open” Yahoo Sports, 25 Jan. 2023, https://sports.yahoo.com/busy-24-hours-scott-brown-211730057.html

1. “Scott Brown attempts to make two cuts in same week” PGA TOUR, 25 Jan. 2023, https://www.pgatour.com/news/2023/01/25/scott-brown-attempts-to-make-two-cuts-in-same-week-wild-travel-farmers-insurance-open-great-abaco.html